H&H Midtown Series

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maxpeters

Senior Member
Jan 4, 2010
435
0
For the last week or so I've been playing around with several blends of Hearth & Home's Midtown Series tobaccos. I like that they came to the rescue of some old blends that John Middleton Co. discontinued, and I wanted to see how well they were able to reproduce them.

So far I've tried Cherry, Chestnut, Sweet Cask, Derby Club, and Chatham Manor. They were OK, but they just weren't close enough to the originals to keep me interested. They do seem to be made with very good tobacco. Maybe better than the originals, but their flavors were just too subtle for my liking.
Since Middleton's Kentucky Club Aromatic, Sugar Barrel and Walnut are discontinued, I will only describe my results with Cherry Blend and Carter Hall. I did try the others, but nothing exciting came of it.
So then, blending the originals with the Match tobaccos H&H makes, I wanted to see if I could liven up the flavors a little, In my opinion I came up with two winners.
I tried them in both a Missouri Meerschaum:

and a Savinelli Autograph, to get a more rounded idea of the taste:

If you like semi-aromatic blends, then I think your will like these two.
The first one was a mixture of Middleton's Cherry Blend with H&H's Cherry. After several trial and errors, I ended up mixing three 1 1/2 oz. pouches of Middleton's with two oz. of H&H's. I think the result is better than either on it's own. The two just went together great. The cherry flavor is more pronounced than in the H&H blend, but smoother than the Middleton blend. And it is still very subtle. Still plenty of tobacco taste with just a hint of fruit in the background. Not goopy or wet either.
The second one was a combination of Carter Hall with H&H's Chatham Manor. About 50/50. It came out much better than expected. So much better that I even decided to give it a name. Chatham Hall. (I know. Not very original, but what the hell).

Again, very much a burly/va forward blend, with just a hint of chocolate and something else. Smoked cool and smelled great.

I loved it. Just might become my new all day/anytime blend.
I don't do tobacco reviews, so just take this for what it is. Just messing around with different blends to see if I could improve them more to my taste.
I've enjoyed experimenting with the new match blends and think they have much to offer. As far as Prince Albert and H&H's match, Price Andrew, I haven't done a thing with them, since I was never a big fan of Prince Albert.

Maybe some of you would like to give it a try. You just might come up with a new blend you really like. I have.

 

stanlaurel

Preferred Member
Jan 31, 2015
701
0
Very interesting. Thanks for starting this thread.
About 3 weeks ago, I purchased 3 Mid-Town blends: Chestnut, Chatham Manor and Prince Andrew. I also ordered 3 oz of Missouri Meerschaum "American Patriot" - this is another blend by the same man - Russ Ouellette - as the Mid-Towns.
I come to this from a different perspective. I have never tried any of the originals including CH and PA which are still being produced. I am a newbie with a very immature palette. This is my first attempt at trying any of what seem to be called OTC or codger blends. I have seen a number a positive reviews of Chestnut and decided that I needed to try some of these.
I have been smoking Chestnut, Chatham Manor and American Patriot in a variety of cobs over the last few weeks. I am enjoying the "subtlety" of these blends. It is allowing me to taste and notice things that I have not before. I think that maybe I have done myself a disservice by trying too many stronger blends as a beginner and missed out on this.
I really am enjoying Chestnut which is allowing me to get a taste of Latakia at very low levels rather than up in my face.
I would be interested to know if anyone thinks that I really need to try the original Carter Hall, or whether Chatham Manor gives me enough of an idea of what its like.

 

newbroom

Preferred Member
Jul 11, 2014
5,493
3
The interesting thing to me about codger burley forward blends is that most of the time you have to stay with one for awhile in order to 'get' it.

Once I 'learned' a codger blend, I usually favored it over its clone, or other codger blends.

It took me awhile to learn Prince Albert after having smoked a tub of SirWalterRaleigh, and then the same with Carter Hall. (now I try not to run out of any of em)

I obtained Chatham and Prince Andrew, and later Chestnut....and the same thing occurred, although with Chestnut, it was immediately more interesting due to the Lat.

The learning curve for codger and burley blends in particular may be because I'm still a newbie to the game.

The Mid Town series is good tobacco on its own. I really don't think they're as much clones or matches as they are unique. It's sort of unfair to bring that kind of expectation to these blends.

I'm a nicotine addict so I enjoy several bowls a day and like getting good tobacco for a good price.

I hate it when I empty a tub, tin or pouch and seem to experience separation anxiety when I exhaust my supply of any blend.

 

aldecaker

Preferred Member
Feb 13, 2015
4,413
3
Stanlaurel- My advice is to try every different tobacco you can get your hands on, but I'm just one of those types of pipers. To reference an earlier thread, if I ever found my "Holy Grail" tobacco, I would probably curl up and die, because there would be no quest left for me!
Oh, and by the way, sometimes "immature palate" is simply a euphemism for "unbiased palate"!

 

haroldt

Member
Aug 4, 2013
243
0
Melbourne, Fl
Nice looking pipes!
I've been reading up on American Blends and Virginia and Burley blends. folks from this very forum have suggested that I try the H&H Midtown series. I just placed an order a few days ago. I plan to make a trip to the drugs store and pick up some Carter and Prince to have on hand for tase test.

 

mso489

Preferred Member
Feb 21, 2013
25,907
78
I've only tried Chestnut because it is the only non-aromatic in the Midtown series. I'm impressed with how well Russ has gotten six tobaccos to work together, and what good tobacco this is. Someone said they tried this one, liked it, but the charm faded. That can happen, but I see this one as always being welcome in the cellar.

 

maxpeters

Senior Member
Jan 4, 2010
435
0
mso, I did try Chestnut with Middleton's Walnut, and it was not bad. Still didn't improve the flavor over either one individually. This is one that seemed to be better left alone. They each have their unique qualities. I didn't include it above because you can't find Walnut anymore. I just happen to have a couple tubs of it left.

 

maxpeters

Senior Member
Jan 4, 2010
435
0
weezell, I agree with you. Sweet Cask is very good. I did try mixing it with Sugar Barrel, but found that, combined, the flavor didn't improve very much. They were best if smoked individually.

When I first tried Sweet Cask, I just stuffed it in a pipe as it came, and went about smoking it as I would any other blend. I didn't really care for it that much. It was just too bland, and smelled like burning shoe leather. After playing around with it though, I was able to discover how good it really is.

I found that rubbing out the chunky flakes into smaller bits, and smoking it in a pipe with a larger surface area, like a pot, really enhanced the flavor for me. It also lost the burning shoe leather smell, and just smelled like good tobacco.

Also, that you really had to tamp very lightly, and sip slowly. That, and the diligent use of a pipe cleaner to keep the airway unobstructed seemed to improve things considerably. For some reason it seemed to block the airway more often than most.

Sounds like a lot of trouble to go through, but it wasn't all that much. It just seems to be a blend that takes a little extra effort to bring out it's best qualities. I will be ordering some more.

 

weezell

Preferred Member
Oct 12, 2011
9,411
145
I found that rubbing out the chunky flakes into smaller bits
Spot on max! It's funny you mention that but that is what I do with every bowl. GOOD CALL Brother...